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32 Costa Magica Family Cruise Reviews

The selection of this cruise was 1. By season, as we can only close our own place certain times of the year, 2. by itinerary, 3. By home port, from Bavaria to Savona it is a 1 day drive, and 4. yes the price did play its part when deciding ... Read More
The selection of this cruise was 1. By season, as we can only close our own place certain times of the year, 2. by itinerary, 3. By home port, from Bavaria to Savona it is a 1 day drive, and 4. yes the price did play its part when deciding between candidates. My parents (DH's parents in law) paid for the cruise as a gift this was not foreseen but a gift very much appreciated. As a result they booked through the Costa Antwerp (Benelux) callcentre as it serves Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands where they live. Epic fail: the callcentre has trouble communicating in Dutch, they are essentially francophone... and since then all communications came in French (in which we are very very rusty) or in Italian (which to us is all but incomprehensible). Epic fail #2: the website loses all your details once you put them in. And we tried several times. In the end we got lucky once, but the parents did not, so had to fill in the papers again by hand in Savona. Epic Fail #3: when the cabin assignments came (we had booked 2 identical standard insides, as we do not tend to spend much time in there anyway), they were 8239 (deck 8, starboard almost all the way forward) and 1414, (deck 1, port side, almost all the way aft) They could not have put us further apart if they tried; and they were unwilling to change us to 2 cabins remotely together or even near the same elevator shaft. I mean we are all adults and adjacent cabins are not needed, but being the entire length, the width, AND the height of the ship apart is surely over the top? In the end we were instructed to ask at Guest services onboard. Upon arrival at the port, we were directed the wrong way down a 1-way lane, almost causing a head-on collision with a shuttle bus, and then our pre booked valet parking was nowhere to be found. After losing our temper with a parking attendant, we were directed to the right place. In the terminal, we got priority boarding to be able to ask about a cabin change. Very nice. On board, we got a very blunt NO. The ship was allegedly fully booked. We now know that there are two standard answers of guest services on board - sometimes even before you finish your sentence. The whole attitude is "Oh why don't you just go away". After unpacking we proceeded to have a look around Costa Magica and it is a very nice ship, if sometimes a bit OTT. Then to the muster drill which was very thorough, and very polite but firm with those who thought they should be exempt. When we met the parents, they told us that their cabin steward did not understand why we could not be together since his whole corridor was basically empty. Father and daughter went back to guest services, where we said that we were furious about being lied to, the ship was far from full. One employee said rudely to the other in Italian: "they booked a cheap inside, I am surely not going to do anything about this, and if I start moving them everybody will want to move". I understand some basic Italian and translated in English to my father. My father then even volunteered to pay for an upgrade, but they insisted this was not possible either. Instead of being ashamed that we had understood what they said, we were still being treated as second rate citizens. The whole attitude for the duration of the cruise at the guest relations desk was "I don't know, I don't care and why don't you just go away".The service in the restaurant and by the cabin attendant was exemplary, really friendly and correct. The cabin was spotlessly clean and everything was in working order. In my parents' cabin there was a TL-light which started flashing in the bathroom during the cruise, this was immediately fixed and they even received a phone call later in the day to check if everything was ok now. The food in the restaurant was fabulous. The portions are very small, but this allows you to sample all the 7 courses. Note: the buffet is closed in the evening during the meal times in the main dining rooms, you can get pizza until 6 pm and after 9.30 pm, but that is it. If you are a buffet diner, do not go on Costa. We found all the staff to speak english, italian and at least 1 other language. Shows: a bit loud (the volume level), but not badly produced and taking into consideration that when there was spoken content they tried to do text in 5 languages, still 'all right'. That said, the shows just were not as entertaining as on other cruises, and were at just under 45 minutes a bit short. They were also squeezed in between early and late dinner seatings making people rush in from dessert of their early seating, or rush out early not to keep their tablemates waiting for the late seating. If we do not sail Costa again it will be because of the reservation/ guest service desk experience. The operational side excepting the front desk of the ship runs very well, but other lines in our opinion can match that experience without the drawbacks. If you are not dealing with the Antwerp callcentre, your experience with the reservation department might differ from ours. Whether the front desk of Magica is representative of the line as a whole? We would guess so, as it was most of the team reacting as they did, but who knows, if we do take another Costa cruise they might show us different. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
Having been on 21 cruises over the past 8 years with 8 different cruise lines, we decided to return after about 5 years to Costa having been with them on four other occasions, Victoria, Atlantica twice and Europa. We enjoyed those cruises ... Read More
Having been on 21 cruises over the past 8 years with 8 different cruise lines, we decided to return after about 5 years to Costa having been with them on four other occasions, Victoria, Atlantica twice and Europa. We enjoyed those cruises with minor irritations and wanted to see how they now compare with other ships and companies.This time it was Costa Magica, chosen mainly because of the Itinerary. We were absolutely delighted with our first impressions of the ship's public spaces. In wonderful true Italian style and flare each area was delightful, especially the main lounge deck 5. In fact all the main public lounges, bars, nightclub, piano bar etc were on deck 5 and so tastefully appointed, except the rear lounge, Capri, where the furnishings looked dated and tired. We had a balcony as usual as my wife does not like having the air-conditioning on and we leave the door partly ajar at night. The cabin was very good and nicely furnished but was a wee bit smaller than others we have had...not quite so wide. The shower was excellent although it kept over-flowing flooding the bathroom on three occasions despite having reported it. The situation was perfect for us, mid-ships deck 9 and very near the lifts. This is important for us as my wife does have some mobility problem. Deck 9 on Costa Magica was for us the most perfect of all our cruises...short walk to the morning buffet; a few steps to the outside pool/spa and even shorter to the lift straight down to deck 3 for the theatre. Our dining room was on Deck 3, a short stroll from the theatre which was a delight. We were fortunate enough, as always, so far, to get a table for two. This was in lovely small area beneath the balcony with two very attractive very large blown photo pictures on the rear wall. It was almost like being in a small Italian restaurant in Italy. Of recent times, we don't usually eat in the main dining room more than say 3 times as the Alternative dining arrangements have been so good (see below). We ate every night in the main dining room and the food was very good to excellent with the most attentive and charming waiter and wine waiter who actually delivered your wine BEFORE you start eating. Our experience on many ships has been that the busy wine waiter never manages to get the wine to you until you are on the second course! This was a great plus along with others, one of which was a jug of iced tap water immediately came to your table as you sat down. The reason we ate in the dining room every night is because the Alternative Dining was virtually non-existent, consisting of one buffet area counter no more than 15 feet long consisting of a choice of pizza, pizza, pizza or pizza and some tired looking salad bits. Quite dreadful. Also there was no "Anytime dining for those who like that arrangement and quite clearly Costa have not caught up with the other cruise lines where the alternative dining...buffets are extremely good...for example on the 5 Royal Carribean Ships and 2 Princess ships we have been on, where quite often we have had better meals up in the buffet than in the dining room. And so Costa should take a really close look at what the competition are offering as they will over time, I fear, loose out to those who like a choice. The was just one other place you could eat on a "fine dining" evening and that was in Club Venezia where the ambience, views, furnishings, china, glassware was simple quite stunning. But that cost an extra Euros 20 each person plus wine/drinks etc. Now to the buffet - breakfast and lunch. I rated these 2 out of 10 for several reasons. The main buffet areas finished serving at 10am....help we are on holiday. The only buffet breakfast area still open after 10am was in the covered pool area at the back of the ship which stayed open until 11am. More often than not we ate there. This was a very pleasant and bright area to have breakfast save for the very limited number of tables and chairs with the main space being given over to loungers by the pool. Kids in the pool could be noisey. The main breakfast buffets and the covered pool buffet lacked so many things I am used to on other ships and indeed at home.Apart from diced melon and pineapple all mixed together, there was a marked absence of fresh fruit. A few bananas, plums but they went very quickly and not replaced. I saw no apples. The other fruit was TINNED pears and TINNED peaches. No nuts, seeds, raisons, bagels and the most disgusting looking bacon I have seen...crispy burnt dark lean bacon dripping in fat...no English type bacon which we English like!! On other ships there is usually a choice of bacon . No fresh toast but two slices wrapped in greaseproof and often been standing there for half hour or more. The covered pool area buffet was even worse with a very limited assortment. Bearing in mind they closed at 11am at 10.25 when we got there I asked for some toast, only to be told they were not preparing any more as it was too late. And she was quite rude to. I reported her to the Supervisor who was well aware of her attitude from other guests. Also there was no fresh fruit at all offering only tinned pears...and no yogurts..too late being the answer. Lunch time buffets were acceptable but nothing in comparison to ALL the other ships we have been on, so again Costa need urgently to address these issues. A very large theatre seating 1,600 but because of so many different languages, they are rather limited in the choice of performer...no comedians or any act which has spoken word in it. One of the highlights for me was a brilliant tenor singing some lovely music, only to be spoiled because they do not close the doors at the rear of the theatre and we were sitting about three-quarters of the way back and could hear quite loudly the music coming from the central atrium area...rather disrespectful to the artist ...and that happened each night.On other ships the doors are closed at the start of the performance. Although we knew what to expect through previous travels with Costa, we were just as irritated with the repeat in several languages (usually six at least) of every single announcement throughout day and evening during the entire cruise. One of the worst was when they were trying to get passengers to attend Bingo...and when announced it in a foreign language it comes over even more irritating...as "bingo, bingo, bingo" this happened almost every day and at least twice or three times . They had bingo sessions at 8.30 or 9pm some nights in the main lounges...now I ask you, is that really necessary? Kids...there were quite a lot of children on board up to teenage level and I was quite surprised and rather annoyed that they were allowed up so late. On other ships there is often a curfew at midnight and I think Costa should consider this. Costa Magica, like the other Costa ships is a late night ship with as many as five different areas playing music for dancing or listening well up to and past 1 am..a real must for the keen dancer. The Animators in the two main lounges were just brilliant and always managed to get many people dancing and with such enthusiasm. Excursions. We don't usually do many of the ships' excursions these days and prefer to do our own thing, which where available is the Double Decker Hop on and Hop Off City Sightseeing buses. These are excellent value BUT and a real big BUT , no ship we have EVER been on EVER tells you about them and yet on this particular cruise in at least three ports they stop right outside the ship. I even mentioned this to one of the bus reps who was most surprised saying that he will tell his boss because they pay , in this case , Costa to advertise them. Well they don't and nor do any other cruise ship as far as we have experienced. Life is all about choice and I feel that Costa and indeed other cruise lines should do the decent thing and give their passengers a choice. On one cruise I went on I asked how far the railway station was from the ship...she told me it was quite a long way. It was in Cobh and I wanted to go to Cork and she obviously wanted me to buy an excursion through them. I didn't and to my amazement as you step off the ship in Cobh right opposite on the other side of the road is the railway station..Just another example of being aware of alternatives to the ship's excursions. Gratuities. These were added to your bill at the end of the cruise and no choice but to pay them. Although having no choice, we did find it refreshing that we were not bombarded with reminders almost daily (on Royal Caribbean) of the need to pay gratuities. In fact it was never mentioned in the whole trip with Costa nor did it appear in the Information Booklet in our cabin...so, well done Costa. We still decided to give a small token to our waiters and cabin stewardess. Embarking and Disembarking. Embarking was just amazingly quick...in fact the quickest, walking straight on. This itinerary is rather unusual in that passengers are taken aboard on several ports of call...Dover, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Oslo, Copenhagen , Edinburgh and Le Havre and because only about 120 passengers got on at Dover, it was exceedingly quick and easy. At some ports it was a bit chaotic when returning to the ship and unless you sussed it out, it was quite easy to get behind the new guests who were having their passports and documents checked ...there was no clear sign at any port to show you the entry line for existing passengers. Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our cruise bar for the points I have mentioned and would again go with Costa as we know what to expect and not expect.There is a lovely atmosphere on board their ships, which for some, can be a bit too noisy at times. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
We have been cruising with the Costa Magica in May 2011. Our veranda stateroom on deck 6 was nice but a little cramped for 2 adults and two children. Because of the promotion "children stay for free when sharing a stateroom with the ... Read More
We have been cruising with the Costa Magica in May 2011. Our veranda stateroom on deck 6 was nice but a little cramped for 2 adults and two children. Because of the promotion "children stay for free when sharing a stateroom with the parents" we choose to stay in one stateroom. We loved sitting on the balcony because of the good weather and the nice views. Breakfast was not so good. For lunch there was an option between the self service buffet and the normal restaurant. At 4 o clock there was a high tea at the self service Lido deck. 7 course dinner was OK. The soups did not taste well. Hardly any vegetables and fruit are served. You can eat some good tasting pizza all day long. There were two formal nights. On this nights a children's dinner was being served. Child entertainment was OK. There is children's entertainment from 9 o clock in the morning till 10.30 o clock in the evening, but there are only two children dinners. A lot of the miniclub crew don't speak English very well and sometimes activities are skipped. Children are not allowed in the whirlpools. The water-slide is fun, but really bad for your swimming-clothes. We embarked in Savona. The check-in was quick and there were good parking-facilities for 10 euro per day. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
We booked this cruise because it fit the kids spring break, good price, good ports. I liked that it left from Rome because you need more than one day to see Rome. But getting from Rome center to port was long and expensive. We took the ... Read More
We booked this cruise because it fit the kids spring break, good price, good ports. I liked that it left from Rome because you need more than one day to see Rome. But getting from Rome center to port was long and expensive. We took the train to port, not expensive but train station had no elevator, had to carry luggage up and down stairs, signs at station were horrible, no one to help, no announcements for stops. Cruise port to airport we sucked it up and took a taxi for $200.00.Only 10% of passengers are native English speakers so it was interesting hearing all the different languages, crew does speak English. Cleanest ship I've ever been on-never saw a dirty glass or dish even early morning! My 14 year old LOVED hanging out with European teens in the disco and made lots of new friends! 9 year old only went to kids camp once- intimidated by kids speaking italian and Spanish. Really nothing for the 12 year old she was between age groups. We loved the smerelda lounge after the show, they played bingo every night then had a game with audience participation. Kids were allowed which you don't see on American ships! Music was from all countries and everyone danced-it was great fun!! Their version of the midnight buffet is great-every night at midnight waiters walked through the whole ship with trays of appetizers and sweets, much nicer than one night gluttony. We did not care much for the food but did not go hungry. Shows were great-many different kinds not just same dancers every night. Ports were great! Very different experience for kids with all the languages, they saw that the United States is not the center of the universe!!! Europeans are lots of fun and more free spirited than Americans-they must not need much sleep because all ages were in lounge dancing after midnight and up by 7 in the morning!! This is a circle cruise meaning passengers are getting on and off at all ports-this was great because there was not 2000 people trying to disembark at the same time! Cruise was a great cultural experience for all of us!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
We sailed out of Rome with 6 adults and 2 small kids (3yrs and 9 mos) Boarding the ship was confusing and because we never received any tickets in the mail we had to fill out a bunch of paperwork when we got there. The building is ... Read More
We sailed out of Rome with 6 adults and 2 small kids (3yrs and 9 mos) Boarding the ship was confusing and because we never received any tickets in the mail we had to fill out a bunch of paperwork when we got there. The building is small and was unorganized but fortunately because it was January it was not too bad to get through. We got on and the crew were all very nice and almost all of them spoke English. Our cabin was very spacious and had a large space like a window sill for my 3 year old to sit in and watch the ocean. They provided a crib and we had a twin bed and still had plenty of room to get around. Our steward was more than accommodating but finding him sometimes was difficult but others were more than helpful to get him in when we needed him. The ship is very pretty it reminded me of a Carnival ship but less flashy but nicer than a Princess ship. There were not alot of activities to do onboard during the day on the ship but because we had a port to go into each day we were ok with that. They do have a round the clock kids room that we took the kids to and they really liked that. Most of the activities that were offered were fitness related like dancing or aerobics. The food in the buffet was ok... breakfast was good, there were some traditional American eats like pancakes, waffles,cereal and bacon and eggs every day. Alot of meats and cheeses and a fish dish each morning! The afternoon and evening buffet offered hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza and other finger foods. All ok, nothing spectacular. The dinners in the dining room were much better but I have to say that Carnival has better food. We bought a wine and water package for 99 euros and that was the best way to go for us. It gave us 6 bottles of wine and 10 bottles of water and that lasted the entire cruise. The reviews about getting around on the ship are over exaggerated. Every cruise I have taken is like this. You just have to get it figured out and remember what elevators go where. We feel that by the end of every cruise that we have finally figured it out! So I think that is normal. There are alot of Italians and other Europeans on board and some are rude but so are Americans. I just pushed back when they pushed me and that seemed to work. That only happened a couple of times. For a layed back culture they sure are in a hurray to cut you off in the food lines or to get on and off the ship. Its actually quite funny. I just let them cut. We had our 9 month old daughter and that brought alot of positive attention. Everyone loves a baby! Actually there were ALOT of kids and babies on this cruise. I was surprised. Getting on and off for port tours was easy. This cruise has embarking and disembarking in 3 different ports so it can get crowded at times in the atrium. But they seem to be pretty organized with all that going on. They only thing I dont care for was the smoking section in the atrium. But Europeans are very much into smoking and was expected. Its just stinky and I hated walking through it every day. The Tours offered were nice. We had to deal with the riots in Tunisia and therefore were sent to Corsica instead and then in Marseille there was a strike and had to be rerouted to Tulon which put us about an hour away but those situations were out of Costa's control so I cant blame them. Overall we had a great time. Disembarking was not hard to get through either. I would take this cruise again in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
We are a Canadian family of four experienced cruisers, who cruised the western Mediterranean with Costa over Christmas 2010. The seven-day cruise is a loop, with guests embarking and departing at every stop. We boarded in Marseilles.The ... Read More
We are a Canadian family of four experienced cruisers, who cruised the western Mediterranean with Costa over Christmas 2010. The seven-day cruise is a loop, with guests embarking and departing at every stop. We boarded in Marseilles.The itinerary is ideal - hitting all the major cities. We disembarked at all stops, and made our way independently into the city. The ship-organized excursions had restrictive itineraries (and were expensive), and we wanted the freedom to explore on our own. While little information is available on the ship, we found it very easy to navigate each city on our own. Onboard, we were not happy with the food, in terms of either quality or quantity. The ship is confusingly laid out (something other cruisers have noted), and it was very hard to orient ourselves. The gym was well-equipped, and we used it every day. Otherwise there were few activities on board - the intent seems to be that the ship is a floating hotel, moving from city to city. Overall, we were very disappointed with our Costa Magica cruise to the western Mediterranean. There were very few activities on board the ship for English-speakers, and literally no programming for children (12 and 14). In light of how bored the children were, I decided to try to download a movie for them to watch. After visiting the front desk and being assured that the very expensive 3 hour internet package (27 euros total) was high-speed, with excellent access throughout the ship, I purchased the package. Within 20 minutes, I had downloaded 0.0001% of our movie - which would have need 400 hours to download! I immediately requested the cancellation of my package, and the return of the fee. Front desk staff told me to come back the next day: this was repeated 4 more times on our 7 day cruise. I wrote to Costa in early January to request the refund - I heard nothing from the company for 7 weeks. After follow-up, today, the office has finally explained that "because I used the service" I cannot be refunded. I would not cruise again on the Magica, and encourage other English-speaking families to think carefully about choosing this ship. Certainly, know that you will need to independently organize all your children's activities, and cannot depend on the cruise to offer options. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
Let me start off by saying I had expected this to be a totally different experience than any of my previous 13 cruises. However, I never expected it to be the worst cruise I've ever been on. It was my first cruise out of a European ... Read More
Let me start off by saying I had expected this to be a totally different experience than any of my previous 13 cruises. However, I never expected it to be the worst cruise I've ever been on. It was my first cruise out of a European port. I realize it left out of Italy, but I really thought it would be more amenable to the different nationalities on the cruise. They were not! I DO NOT recommend this cruise to Americans unless they are fluent in Italian. The cruise line made very little effort to speak anything but Italian. It was near impossible to participate on any of the on board activities. The entertainment staff did say a lot of things, ie., Bingo and other games, in English but it was so fast and so mixed in with 5 other languages they rattled off, you could not follow at all. All the ship announcements were in Italian. It seemed that there were only a few announcements that they ever said in English. I was truly terrified that if there were an emergency on this ship, I would never have known what to do. This brings me to the Safety Issues. There was no safety drill upon embarkation at Civitavecchia. This cruise is a circle cruise; meaning people are embarking and disembarking at every port. They do consider Savona the first port, which was the last day for us. That is when they did a life boat drill. Guess it was our tough luck if anything happened the 6nights before that. This is an EXTREMELY budget cruise. It is advertised in Italy dirt cheap with kids sailing free. You truly get what you pay for. The Italians on this cruise were extremely rude. They do not believe in lines or waiting their turn. They were pushy and arrogant. The lack of communication was a huge problem. They also smoke like crazy and smoke anywhere they like. This ship has more smoking areas than non smoking areas. If this is a problem for you, be aware! If you are not used to horrible food and and plastic cups, do not take this cruise. You can see Costa has cut back everywhere they possible can. The only thing you could get 24/7 was coffee and water. They shut the ice cream machines all hours except buffet hours. You had to go to dinner every night in the dinning room. There was not a dinner buffet option. For this reason, people were dressed anywhere from formal to grunge in the dinning room. I'm a 100% Italian American. I am used to good Italian food. There was NONE to be found on this cruise. The pasta dishes at dinner were the only thing that was near what I would call authentic Italian food. The buffet food was hardly edible. Dried out pizza, tasteless burgers and fries. How you can ruin french fries is beyond me. The cabins are good size like all Carnival products. The Entertainment on the first night was okay. The second night, okay, after that it was downhill right to the bottom at horrible. There were three nights where the highlight of the show was juggling. Each night they repeatedly dropped what they were juggling....pretty poor performance. You can tell the cruise lines was spending NO money on entertainment. They were also spending NO MONEY on Air Conditioning. It was almost was an unhealthy hot through out the entire ship. The dinning rooms was unbearable. I left every night as quickly as I could because of the heat. The poor staff was always sweating as were many of the guests. I think it was a health hazard, but I'm sure the cruise lines just looks at it as saving money. The cruise lines provided very little direction when trying to find your tour buses and exit the ship. They never announced you were in port and could start disembarking or what deck to disembark from. It was always a guess if it were deck 3 or 0. The only saving grace at all on this cruise were the staff. The dinning room and other working crew all spoke English and were always willing to help you out. The were great. All in All I wish I had not gone on this cruise. I will gladly pay double or triple on my next cruise to get a better experience. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
Costa Magica Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 3.0 3.1
Entertainment 4.0 3.2
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.7
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.2
Enrichment 1.0 2.7
Service 4.0 3.7
Value For Money 4.0 3.2
Rates 3.0 3.9

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